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$4M sought for Guam maternity ward renovations

September 8, 2014

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A Guam doctor is pushing a hospital in the U.S. territory to update its maternity ward for the first time in 25 years.

Dr. Thomas Shieh, an obstetrician and gynecologist, prompted lawmakers to introduce a bill that would allow Guam Memorial Hospital to borrow up to $4 million to renovate its labor and delivery ward.

The maternity ward isn’t able to follow national standards, Shieh told Pacific Daily News (http://ow.ly/BfA0g ). He said pregnant women should labor, deliver and recover in one room. But at the hospital, they are transferred about four to five times. That’s because there’s one labor and delivery room, six labor rooms, three delivery rooms and three postpartum beds. The hospital delivers an average of 10 babies daily.

He said it’s inhumane to constantly move a pregnant woman in pain.

When pregnant women are in pain, it’s also difficult to move them around, said Apple Guillermo, a labor and delivery nurse. “We really need it,” she said of renovations.

Allowing mothers to stay in the same room after giving birth is also beneficial to babies, Shieh said. “The other benefit for moms is immediately after delivery, their babies do not need to be moved again from room to room, they remain with mom and can have bonding and breast-feeding all in one place,” he said.

The bill was expected to be discussed at a public hearing Tuesday.


Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com

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